QuickCare clinics launched
Manitoba’s first clinic dedicated to healing minor ailments opened on Tuesday, March 6. The new QuickCare clinic is located on McGregor Street with a location in Steinbach slated to open later in the month. In addition, two more will open later in the year with an eventual target of eight set by the province. The clinics are to be staffed by nurse practitioners and will deal with non-emergency health concerns including bumps, rashes and birth control advice. Health officials believe the clinics will free up crowded hospital emergency rooms and help reduce costs. The McGregor Street location will run from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and holidays.
Transit hike scrapped
The province has scrapped 20-cent transit fare hike previously approved by city council. Mayor Sam Katz confirmed the news Thursday, March 8, heralding the end of the controversial proposal. A provincial spokesperson explained that in order to approve the hike, it would have to amend the current transit funding agreement with the city, something the province was unwilling to do. The proposed increase provoked a firestorm of controversy with opponents charging it would harm low income Winnipeggers. Supporters responded such an increase was vital to the continuing implementation of the rapid transit plan.
Elm tree protection strategy in the works
A detailed strategy to protect elm trees from the spread of Dutch elm disease will be drafted by the city. On Tuesday, March 6, the Winnipeg Free Press reported that city council’s public works committee submitted a request to Winnipeg’s public administration to develop a comprehensive plan. A fungal disease, the scourge of Dutch elm disease, has resulted, which has cost Winnipeg about three per cent of its elm trees in the past three years. According to public works director Brad Sacher, one possible solution could be providing property owners with vouchers to buy a tree in case one is lost as a result of Dutch elm disease.
Restaurant owner files legal challenge against mayor
Joe Chan, manager of Cathay House restaurant, has filed a legal challenge calling for Mayor Sam Katz to step down. Chan filed the challenge because of what he believes was a conflict of interest involving the mayor. Last December, Katz held a Christmas party at a restaurant he owns, Hu’s Asian Bistro, spending $2,915 of public money in the process. Robert Tapper, Katz’s attorney, has slammed the challenge, noting Katz is “perfectly entitled” to do what he did. In addition, Tapper called Chan’s bid an attempt to garner publicity.
Women’s Day prompts pride and reflection for local women
On the 101st anniversary of International Women’s Day, a local aboriginal woman and her daughter reflected on the struggles they have shared and obstacles they have both overcome. In an interview with the Winnipeg Free Press Mary Bryan and her daughter Chantell Quill shared how their mutual support helped them to secure a brighter future. Inspired by her daughter’s graduation from Red River College, Bryan decided to return to school. She is now university-educated and a culture worker at the Ka Ni Kanichnik agency. Twenty-five years ago she was raising Quill and five other children on social assistance. International Women’s Day was marked on Thursday, March 8.